Colonial Latin America not only exported raw materials to Europe, but also images - both real and conceptual. In commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the independence movement in Latin America, the House of World Cultures was cooperating with partners in Spain and Bolivia to examine a special aspect of colonial history - the relationship between Latin America and Europe in terms of trade and the transfer of images, and economic structures and ways of thinking.
The project's directors Andreas Siekmann, Alice Creischer and Max Hinderer investigated how economic and image-political conditions have influenced world order, and with it, our perception of the world since the 16th century. The exhibition featured colonial-period Andean paintings and contemporary works that refer to the visual transfer of colonial history to show how the viceroyalty of Peru, which spanned most of the South American continent, was systematically exploited. The title of the project refers to the city of Potosí, located in the Bolivian highlands, which was one of the legendary silver-mining cities of colonial times and synonymous for wealth for hundreds of years. Even today, Spanish speaking people commonly use the idiom "vale un Potosí", meaning "it's worth a fortune".
According to the curators, the Potosí Principle not only applies to Hispanic America, but to other geographic regions and time periods. An international team of experts was researching the relationship between capitalistic world order and image production and how it affects the way we perceive the world. Their findings were presented in this exhibition and at an international scientific conference. An additional educational programme was organized. The project's partners and exhibition venues included the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía in Madrid, the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folclore, both in La Paz (Bolivia).

Artistic director: Andreas Siekmann
Curators : Alice Creischer, Max Jorge Hinderer and Andreas Siekmann

Artists: Sonia Abián (ESP), Anna Artaker (AT), Christian von Borries (DE), Matthijs de Bruijne (NL/CHN), Chto Delat (RU), Rogelio López Cuenca (ESP), Stefan Dillemuth (DE) und Konstanze Schmitt (DE/ESP), Ines Doujak (AT), Elvira Espejo (BOL), Harun Farocki (DE), León Ferrari (ARG), María Galindo/Mujeres Creando (BOL), Isaías Griñolo (ESP), Eduardo Molinari (ARG), Museum of Migrant Workers (CHN), David Riff und Dmitry Gutov (RU), Zhao Liang (CHN).

Venue and schedule:
House of World Cultures, Berlin, 8 October 2010 - 2 January 2011
Conference: 7 October 2010
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNA) and Museo Nacional de Etnografía y Folclore (MUSEF), La Paz, Bolivia, 22 February - 30 April 2011